by Sayer Ji, Green Med Info:
A letter signed by more than 130 UK medical professionals accused UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other government officials of causing “massive, permanent and unnecessary harm” to the country
A letter this week to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other UK government officials, signed by more than 130 UK medical professionals, accused the government of mishandling its response to the COVID pandemic, resulting in “massive, permanent and unnecessary harm” to the country.
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The letter, “Our Grave Concerns About the Handling of the COVID Pandemic by Governments of the Nations of the UK,” outlined 10 ways in which the authors argued UK government policies not only failed to protect citizens, but in many cases caused additional, unnecessary harm.
The letter’s 10 lead authors wrote:
“We write as concerned doctors, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals with no vested interest in doing so. To the contrary, we face personal risk in relation to our employment for doing so and / or the risk of being personally ‘smeared’ by those who inevitably will not like us speaking out.”
The authors accused government officials of failing to measure the harms of lockdown policies, of exaggerating the virus’ threat and of improper mass testing of children.
“Repeated testing of children to find asymptomatic cases who are unlikely to spread virus, and treating them like some sort of biohazard is harmful, serves no public health purpose and must stop.”
The letter also called out officials for actively suppressing discussion of early treatment using protocols being successfully deployed elsewhere, and said vaccination of the entire adult population should never have been a prerequisite for ending restrictions.
The authors concluded:
“The UK’s approach to COVID has palpably failed. In the apparent desire to protect one vulnerable group — the elderly — the implemented policies have caused widespread collateral and disproportionate harm to many other vulnerable groups, especially children.”
In addition to Johnson, the letter was addressed to Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister for Scotland; Mark Drakeford, First Minister for Wales; Paul Givan, First Minister for Northern Ireland; Sajid Javid, Health Secretary; Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer; and Dr. Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Officer.
Read the full letter:
22 August 2021
Dear Sirs and Madam,
Our grave concerns about the handling of the COVID pandemic by Governments of the Nations of the UK.
We write as concerned doctors, nurses, and other allied healthcare professionals with no vested interest in doing so. To the contrary, we face personal risk in relation to our employment for doing so and / or the risk of being personally “smeared” by those who inevitably will not like us speaking out.
We are taking the step of writing this public letter because it has become apparent to us that:
- The Government (by which we mean the UK government and three devolved governments/administrations and associated government advisors and agencies such as the CMOs, CSA, SAGE, MHRA, JCVI, Public Health services, Ofcom etc, hereinafter “you” or the “Government”) have based the handling of the COVID pandemic on flawed assumptions.
- These have been pointed out to you by numerous individuals and organisations.
- You have failed to engage in dialogue and show no signs of doing so. You have removed from people fundamental rights and altered the fabric of society with little debate in Parliament. No minister responsible for policy has ever appeared in a proper debate with anyone with opposing views on any mainstream media channel.
- Despite being aware of alternative medical and scientific viewpoints you have failed to ensure an open and full discussion of the pros and cons of alternative ways of managing the pandemic.
- The pandemic response policies implemented have caused massive, permanent and unnecessary harm to our nation, and must never be repeated.
- Only by revealing the complete lack of widespread approval among healthcare professionals of your policies will a wider debate be demanded by the public.
In relation to the above, we wish to draw attention to the following points. Supporting references can be provided upon request.
1. No attempt to measure the harms of lockdown policies
The evidence of disastrous effects of lockdowns on the physical and mental health of the population is there for all to see. The harms are massive, widespread, and long lasting. In particular, the psychological impact on a generation of developing children could be lifelong.
It is for this reason that lockdown policies were never part of any pandemic
preparedness plans prior to 2020. In fact, they were expressly not recommended in WHO documents, even for severe respiratory viral pathogens and for that matter neither were border closures, face coverings, and testing of asymptomatic individuals. There has been such an inexplicable absence of consideration of the harms caused by lockdown policy it is difficult to avoid the suspicion that this is willful avoidance.
The introduction of such policies was never accompanied by any sort of risk/benefit analysis. As bad as that is, it is even worse that after the event when plenty of data became available by which the harms could be measured, only perfunctory attention to this aspect of pandemic planning has been afforded. Eminent professionals have repeatedly called for discourse on these health impacts in press-conferences but have been universally ignored.
What is so odd, is that the policies being pursued before mid-March 2020 (self-isolation of the ill and protection of the vulnerable, while otherwise society continued close to normality) were balanced, sensible and reflected the approach established by consensus prior to 2020. No cogent reason was given then for the abrupt change of direction from mid-March 2020 and strikingly none has been put forward at any time since.
2. Institutional nature of COVID
It was actually clear early on from Italian data that COVID (the disease, as opposed to SARS-Cov-2 infection or exposure) was largely a disease of institutions. Care home residents comprised around half of all deaths, despite making up less than 1% of the population. Hospital infections are the major driver of transmission rates as was the case for both SARS1 and MERS.
Transmission was associated with hospital contact in up to 40% of cases in the first wave in Spring 2020 and in 64% in winter 2020/2021.
Severe illness among healthy people below 70 years old did occur (as seen with flu pandemics) but was extremely rare.
Despite this, no early, aggressive and targeted measures were taken to protect care homes; to the contrary, patients were discharged without testing to homes where staff had inadequate PPE, training and information. Many unnecessary deaths were caused as a result.
Preparations for this coming winter, including ensuring sufficient capacity and preventative measures such as ventilation solutions, have not been prioritised.
3. The exaggerated nature of the threat
Policy appears to have been directed at systematic exaggeration of the number of deaths which can be attributed to COVID. Testing was designed to find every possible ‘case’ rather than focusing on clinically diagnosed infections and the resulting exaggerated case numbers fed through to the death data with large numbers of people dying ‘with COVID’ and not ‘of COVID’ where the disease was the underlying cause of death.
The policy of publishing a daily death figure meant the figure was based entirely on the PCR test result with no input from treating clinicians. By including all deaths within a time period after a positive test, incidental deaths, with but not due to COVID, were not excluded thereby exaggerating the nature of the threat.
Moreover, in headlines reporting the number of deaths, a categorisation by age was not included. The average age of a COVID-labelled death is 81 for men and 84 for women, higher than the average life expectancy when these people were born.
This is a highly relevant fact in assessing the societal impact of the pandemic. Death in old age is a natural phenomenon. It cannot be said that a disease primarily affecting the elderly is the same as one which affects all ages, and yet the government’s messaging appears designed to make the public think that everyone is at equal risk.
Doctors were asked to complete death certificates in the knowledge that the deceased’s death had already been recorded as a COVID death by the Government. Since it would be virtually impossible to find evidence categorically ruling out COVID as a contributory factor to death, once recorded as a “COVID death” by the government, it was inevitable that it would be included as a cause on the death certificate.
Diagnosing the cause of death is always difficult and the reduction in post mortems will have inevitably resulted in increased inaccuracy. The fact that deaths due to non-COVID causes actually moved into a substantial deficit (compared to average) as COVID-labelled deaths rose (and this was reversed as COVID-labelled deaths fell) is striking evidence of over-attribution of deaths to COVID.
The overall all-cause mortality rate from 2015-2019 was unusually low and yet these figures have been used to compare to 2020 and 2021 mortality figures which has made the increased mortality appear unprecedented. Comparisons with data from earlier years would have demonstrated that the 2020 mortality rate was exceeded in every year prior to 2003 and is unexceptional as a result.
Even now COVID cases and deaths continue to be added to the existing total without proper rigour such that overall totals grow ever larger and exaggerate the threat. No effort has been made to count totals in each winter season separately which is standard practice for every other disease.
You have continued to adopt high-frequency advertising through publishing and broadcast media outlets to add to the impact of “fear messaging”. The cost of this has not been widely published, but government procurement websites reveal it to be immense — hundreds of millions of pounds.